The Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) has agreed the Corporate Plan and Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) for 2023 – 2027, following a public consultation.
The consultation ran for 11 weeks between 11 January and 27 March, receiving a total of 662 responses from the public and staff. Thank you to everybody who provided feedback on the plans.
At the Fire Authority meeting on Thursday, 27 April, Members of RBFA conscientiously considered all feedback received and a summary report, which recommended changes to the plans based on the feedback that was received.
As a result, the finalised plan has now been published on our website, along with the Summary Report.
In the plan, RBFA has set out how it intends to meet its goals to create safer and more resilient communities by preventing incidents, protecting homes and businesses and responding to emergencies.
Councillor Paul Gittings, Chair of RBFA, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in this consultation.
“It’s clear from the feedback received that the majority of respondents were positive about our plans, which is encouraging to see. However, we welcome the constructive feedback that was received and have made several changes to the finally agreed plan as a result, to better reflect the views of communities and staff.”
The CRMP explains how all fire and rescue-related risk in the community is evaluated and how resources are allocated to manage those risks. These risks include house fires, road traffic collisions and chemical spills, but they also include other less common hazards such as wide area flooding, terrorist attacks and building collapse.
Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer, said: “I am delighted with the engagement we have received during the consultation process and I would like to give thanks to everyone who either provided feedback or helped us to reach the widest audience.
“Having engaged with over 650 people and considering their views, the outcome is, a comprehensive and forward looking Community Risk Management Plan. It has been developed in line with the latest guidance and recognised risk analysis methodologies. As a Service, with a clear focus on our purpose and working as one team we will get on with making progress against the important objectives presented in the plans for the benefit of the communities we serve.”
The priorities of the new plan have been agreed as follows:
- Priority 1. We will develop our Integrated Service Delivery Strategy to meet the changing profile of risk in Berkshire due to climate change, societal and technological shifts.
- Priority 2. We will develop a Risk Based Prevention Programme, in collaboration with partner agencies, to target those most vulnerable and at risk from emergency incidents.
- Priority 3. We will develop our response model to ensure that we are providing the most effective response to incidents within Berkshire, ensuring that it is aligned to the risks identified, sustainable and provides value for money.
- Priority 4. We will review the incidents that do not form part of our core statutory responsibilities, to better understand the implications for the service in attending these incidents. Notwithstanding the review of our response and the gathering of this data, public safety will remain the primary priority of the Service.
- Priority 5. We will develop our Fire Protection service to support the resilience of businesses, to ensure the safety of all people using buildings covered by the Fire Safety Act 2021, Building Safety Act 2022, and Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure that our enforcement role is effective and clear.
- Priority 6. We will maintain 19 frontline fire appliances, and a baseline service provision of 14 frontline fire appliances, utilising wholetime and on-call staff as effectively as possible, through local management.
The overarching vision set out in the plan is for RBFRS staff to work together as one team for the communities we serve. In order to fulfil that vision it is vital that staff work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. Although progress has been made in creating a service that reflects the communities it serves, there is more work required to achieve this goal.